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About Fran Becque, Ph.D.
Welcome! Chances are good you found this blog by searching for something about fraternities or sororities.
The history of Greek-letter organizations (GLOs) - fraternities and sororities - is one of my great passions. I was the last person anyone would have suspected of joining a sorority in college. I am sure I would have agreed with them, too.
When I made my way to Syracuse University, I saw the houses with the Greek letters that edged Walnut Park, and wished I could tour them. My roommate suggested I sign up for rush (as it was then called, today it’s known as recruitment) and go through the house tour round and then drop out of rush. It sounded like a plan. I didn’t realize that I would end up pledging.
In this blog I will share the history of GLOs and other topics. I wrote a dissertation on “Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867-1902.″ It chronicles the growth of the system and the birth of the National Panhellenic Conference.
My Master's thesis details the history of the fraternity system at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1948-1960. The dates are significant ones and the thesis is available on the top menu.
I have done research at the Student Life Archives and have written several histories of University of Illinois fraternity chapters for the Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing.
Other topics having to do with higher education also come into play. P.E.O., a Philanthropic Education Organization, was founded as a collegiate organization. I am a P.E.O. and I like to talk about its history. Colleges with which I have a personal connection - Knox College, Mount Holyoke, Washington and Lee, University of Michigan, Syracuse University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, to name a few - also find their way into these posts.
Thanks for dropping by! I hope you’ll follow my blog. We who enjoy fraternity and sorority history need to stick together. I put together a Pinterest board about fraternity and sorority history. It is at pinterest.com/glohistory/.
Tag Archives: Gatlinburg
There are sorority women competing in the Miss America 2018 contest. You can help make one of them the People’s Choice Candidate. Vote once a day at www.missamerica.org/vote/. Voting closes on September 5th! For the list of sorority women competing in the … Continue reading
Yesterday, on my way home from St. Louis, I did something I haven’t done before on the highway between St. Louis and Nashville, Illinois, where I normally get on Route 127, a two-lane road. I missed the exit. I didn’t … Continue reading
Imagine being sent home early from school on Monday. Then imagine leaving home to find shelter from the fires engulfing your town. And then imagine yourself waking on Tuesday to find that you no longer have a home because it … Continue reading
Everything I know about Gatlinburg I learned because of Pi Beta Phi. Having the opportunity to visit Arrowmont while serving as a Pi Phi volunteer made the story of the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School come alive to me on my … Continue reading
Words escape me this morning. The fires in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains National Park are heavy in my heart. A recent post here highlighted Gatlinburg. Libbie, the Ring Ching Roadshow car, and her driver Daphney made a stop in Gatlinburg. … Continue reading
I’m on my way out the door without time to write a real post, but there are three things I want to write about. Cyndy Bittinger, the former Executive Director of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, is an expert on Grace … Continue reading
My heart breaks for all those whose lives will be forever scarred by the events which occurred at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) on Friday, May 23, 2014. Six young people, four men and two women were murdered. … Continue reading
Della “Dell” Gillette, was born in Traverse City, Michigan. She studied library science at the University of Illinois and worked as a librarian. In October 1912, Elizabeth Clarke Helmick, Settlement School Committee Chairman, secured her services as a teacher at … Continue reading
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is nothing like the small isolated community it was a century ago when Dr. May Lansfield Keller, Grand President of Pi Beta Phi, traveled there to explore sites for … Continue reading